Israel-based Innoviz Technologies, a leading player in high-performance, solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Collective Growth Corporation in a transaction sponsored by Antara Capital and Perception Capital Partners. The transaction is supported by a $200 million (Rs 1,480 crore) fully committed common stock PIPE led by Antara Capital and includes strategic investments from Magna International, Innoviz's Tier-1 partner. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will retain the Innoviz Technologies and is expected to be listed on NASDAQ.
Founded in 2016, Innoviz, alongside its mobility tech partner Magna International, is said to be the first to bring a high-end solid-state LiDAR to market and meet the requirements of OEMs, robotaxi companies and Tier 1 suppliers for sensor safety, reliability, durability, low-power consumption, range, resolution, cost and size. The company has continued to break new ground and enable consumer autonomous vehicle adoption by delivering LiDAR with leading performance at a price point that allows for adoption and mass production. It was one of the first to innovate up the AV stack and develop perception software to accompany its LiDAR products, and many other industry participants followed Innoviz's approach. The company’s leading solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software are built and priced for mass-produced consumer autonomous vehicles, a market that accounts for approximately two-thirds of the total addressable market for LiDAR in the near term.
In addition to Magna International, Innoviz has established several partnerships with other leading Tier 1 automotive suppliers, such as HARMAN, Aptiv and HiRain, which is active in China.
Innoviz's Co-founder and CEO Omer Keilaf has spent over 21 years driving cutting edge technologies from inception to commercialisation, and under his leadership the company has grown rapidly, raising $251 million (Rs 1,857 crore) to date and expanding to over 280 employees globally.
Innoviz has been named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, Automobility LA Top Three Startup, two-time CES Innovation Award winner, The Atlas Award for Best Israeli LiDAR, Most Innovative Startup in Israel, and more.
Its latest product, InnovizTwo, offers a significant cost reduction and performance improvement compared to InnovizOne. InnovizTwo aims to meet automakers' desired price target for LiDAR and allow car manufacturers to offer safe L2+ vehicles while paving the path to full L3 automation through roadway data collection and software updates. The transition from L2+ to L3 poses additional challenges to automakers with hands-free driving on highways occurring at higher speeds.
Omer Keilaf, CEO, Innoviz said: "Innoviz continues to push the boundaries of LiDAR performance and price. Our engineers, along with our partner Magna International, have been working tirelessly to bring a solution that automakers can adopt at scale and trust to perform safely and reliably for the entire lifecycle of their vehicles. This milestone is pivotal for our continued growth and the advancement of the autonomous vehicle industry as a whole. It requires significant investment of time and resources and we've made great strides due to the support of our investors and partners. The public listing is a major step on our path to becoming one of the dominant players in the global autonomous driving industry."
Nicolai Martin, SVP – Automated Driving and Driver Assistance, BMW said: "Our goal is to offer safe driver assistance functions for our customers by using state-of-the-art sensors and creating a robust modular system. We are focusing on developing automated driving technology by using LiDAR sensors. Innoviz is one of our strongest partners that is enabling us to develop the future of automated driving."
Swamy Kotagiri, president and incoming CEO, Magna International said: "Working with companies like Innoviz to transform innovative technologies into game-changing automotive-grade products is a win for our customers and the industry as we tackle challenges that come with autonomous vehicle development. Innoviz LiDAR technology, along with Magna's ADAS expertise, software integration and manufacturing excellence is meeting the need by bringing a high-performance, first-to-market solution."
Bruce Linton, chairman and CEO, Collective Growth, said, "Collective Growth sought to advance industrial practices and drive the evolution of the auto sector, a mission well served by this merger. We are extremely excited today to announce the merger with Innoviz and Collective Growth. Innoviz brings a winning combination of high-performance LIDAR technology, commercial partnerships with leading OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, and a dynamic management team."
Jim Sheridan, CEO, Perception Capital Partners, who is expected to join the Board of Directors of the company upon closing of the transaction, said, "I look forward to joining the Innoviz Board. Innoviz is perfectly positioned to extend its leading position in the large and rapidly growing ADAS and autonomous market."
The Transaction is expected to provide up to $350 million (Rs 2,590 crore) in gross proceeds comprised of Collective Growth's $150 million (Rs 1,110 crore) of cash held in trust, assuming no redemptions by public stockholders, and $200 million (Rs 1,480 crore) from a fully committed ordinary share PIPE at $10.00 per share (Rs 740), including strategic investments from Magna International, Innoviz's Tier-1 partner, Antara Capital, co-sponsor and the largest investor in the PIPE, Phoenix Insurance and other institutional investors.
The combined company is expected to have an estimated equity value of approximately $1.4 billion (Rs 10,361 crore) and is expected to be listed on NASDAQ. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory and stockholder approvals and other customary closing conditions. Following completion of the transaction, Innoviz will retain its experienced management team and founder Omer Keilaf will continue to serve as CEO.